Durban - The ANC in KZN is heading for a showdown with the suspended secretary-general, Ace Magashule after the provincial structure said it is against the "unprincipled" bussing of party members to the Pietermaritzburg High Court to support former President Jacob Zuma in his corruption trial.
There was chaos on Monday when party members who had camped outside the court to show their support to Zuma repeatedly booed provincial chairperson, Sihle Zikalala and provincial secretary, Mdumiseni Ntuli, calling them "sell-outs".
The booing prompted Ntuli to hit back and tell the rowdy supporters that he knew that they were bused from other provinces and what they were doing was uncalled for.
He took another jab at the booing lot later in the day when he told news broadcaster, Newzroom Afrika, that he can say with “certainty” that they were not from KZN, if there were some from the province, there were a handful.
Video: African News Agency (ANA)
Speaking later at the chaotic gathering, Magashule said when Zuma returns to court on Wednesday next week, when the judge hears his application to have NPA’s chief prosecutor in the case, advocate Billy Downer SC (senior counsel) removed from the case, there would a bigger crowd as the “entire Free State” will come to court.
“Next time, when we come here on the 26th of May, we will bring the whole Free State here. You must listen, the whole Free State, not just ANC members, they will come here. So we want the whole KwaZulu-Natal here on the 26th. If you support Msholozi, if you support the ANC, bring your mother, your father, your child. On the 26th, South Africa must come to a standstill,” Magashule told the vibrant crowd which ululated in approval.
Asked by Independent Media on Wednesday whether they will welcome having Free State people coming to the court when there is a possibility of erratic behaviour, provincial spokesperson, Nhlakanipho Ntombela put his foot down.
“The invitation of people from outside KZN is not welcome because it violates ANC-led government regulations on Covid-19, and therefore, it’s unprincipled,” Ntombela responded.
Again, asked whether the PEC (ANC KZN provincial executive committee) will still go back to court to support Zuma despite the embarrassing booing incident, Ntombela said they would.
“The KZN leadership is going back to PMB High Court on Wednesday to accompany President Zuma,” he said.
Ntombela’s confirmation concurs with what deputy provincial secretary, Sipho Hlomuka (also MEC for Cogta), told the media outside a voting station in Avoca Hills, Durban yesterday which he visited to monitor by-elections.
Hlomuka said despite the cringe-worthy scenes, the PEC took a resolution to be with Zuma in court and they will do so next week.
Magashule did not respond when asked about his plans to bring “the entire Free State” to KZN to support Zuma.
Reagan Booysen, the spokesperson of the ANC Youth League in the Free State, a structure known for supporting Magashule, said their full plans about the matter would be known later in the week as their PEC would meet today to discuss them.